Marsh Biography Award

1995 - Selina Hastings for "Evelyn Waugh"

Selina Hastings won the 1995 Marsh Biography Award for “Evelyn Waugh”.

One of the foremost writers of our time, Evelyn Waugh was also one of its most extraordinary eccentrics, with a life full of comedy and conflict. Selina Hastings, who was granted unrestricted access to his personal papers by Waugh's family, has uncovered a wealth of new material in her eight years of research for this volume. Letters, diaries, and family photographs shed new light on Waugh's childhood, his affairs at Oxford, his ill-fated first marriage and subsequent romantic adventures, his World War II military service, and his enduring but thorny friendships with such notable figures as Diana Cooper, Ann Fleming, and Nancy Mitford. Perceptive, fascinating, by turns hilarious and tragic, Hastings's portrait gives us Waugh's glittering social life at Oxford, where he was a friend of Harold Acton, Cyril Connolly, Anthony Powell, and Alastair Graham, the inspiration for Sebastian Flyte in Brideshead Revisited.

"Her style is supremely elegant and her eye for detail brings dazzle and wit to every page... This is a monumental book." - "Independent on Sunday

"Evelyn Waugh was the most complicated of men... It is the first great virtue of Selina Hastings's splendid biography that she never forgets it. Consequently she has written a sympathetic and highly intelligent book which also - rarity of rarities these days - reads rapidly. It is sympathetic also because, like Waugh himself, the author adores gossip." - "Daily Telegraph

"Evelyn Waugh was one of the funniest writers in the language. Selina Hastings's book is alive with his humour." - "Sunday Express

"Be assured that you would be unlikely to find a more entertaining, delightful or rewarding book on Waugh if you were to search... for the next twenty years. The narrative is at once gripping and thoughtful on every page." - "Mail On Sunday


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